Attachment working models and relationship quality in dating couples
At the time of Bowlby’s initial writings, psychoanalytic writers held that these expressions were manifestations of immature defense mechanisms that were operating to repress emotional pain.And, not surprisingly, some of the most painful experiences in people’s lives involve the disruption of important social bonds, such as separation from a spouse, losing a parent, or being abandoned by a loved one.Why do close relationships play such a profound role in human experience?That is, the child comes to feel emotionally connected to the mother because she is associated with the reduction of primary drives, such as hunger, rather than the reduction of drives that might be relational in nature.
In a classic set of studies, psychologist Harry Harlow placed young monkeys in cages that contained two artificial, surrogate “mothers” (Harlow, 1958).
If the child perceives the attachment figure to be nearby, accessible, and attentive, then the child feels loved, secure, and confident and, behaviorally, is likely to explore his or her environment, play with others, and be sociable.
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